Social media marketing is the new way to reach out to your audience as well as convert potential leads into loyal followers. Social media is for everyone; you can share your personal experiences with people, promote your brand, sell products, showcase your artworks, and do so much more. Not only this, social media has developed a two-way street for everyone. Getting responses and feedback from your audience has never been as easy and fast as it is now.
Brands and individuals are moving towards social media to engage with people on a more personal level. It has allowed the doors to more insights that the world could have ever fathomed just a decade ago. Data is the new gold and social media has opened the floodgates to collect and work with so much more valuable information. Now is the time to get up and start engaging with your community on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Set Your Goals
What you aim to achieve with social media should be decided beforehand. You cannot expect people to simply hop in without having a gameplan. Strategizing the way you will handle your social media accounts is paramount for having a successful reach.
- Set out a vision and mission statement for yourself, your brand, or your product.
- Choose social media channels wisely. DO not bite more than you can chew. Start with one or two platforms and scale up with time.
- Decide the kind of audience you want.
- Decide the kind of content you plan to promote.
- Pan out strategies for long-term and decide how you’ll engage with your audience.
- Set out reasonable milestones and timelines.
- Lastly, be honest to yourself. Accept criticism and open to changes.
The First Impression is the Last Impression
Love at first sight is not a myth when it comes to your social media handles. All social media platforms have their pros and cons and each one operates differently. If you are working with multiple channels, exploit the best that they have to offer. Instagram, for instance, is in simplistic terms, an online gallery. It is almost all media-based. Make your Instagram account look pretty. Work out a nice and catchy bio. Use online tools such as ‘Later’ that can help you make banners that cover more than one picture in your account. Use color-complimenting accents and pretty filters to communicate to your audience.
You know your brand best; make sure that there are no communication gaps between you and your audience. People need to see what you want them to see in your brand. Facebook algorithms work differently but the mantra is the same. The first impression that your page has on your visitors will last with them. It is your job to make that experience a worthy one. The same goes for other platforms. Work on media if the platform is more media-centric such as Pinterest or Instagram. Twitter and Facebook require more diverse content. LinkedIn is more professional and sophisticated. Adapt accordingly to these platforms and make it look good. The most important thing about your first impression is your pictures. It’s important to take great pictures for your social media. Learn how to compose a good picture here.
Quick and Structured Responses are Key
How fast you respond to comments and queries on your social media shows how serious you and your brand are. It shows that you value your audience and respect their presence on your handle. Shape your responses in a way that are easy for everyone to understand yet look professional. If you have a query, answer them with structured answers that cover all points of the questions. Leave them with a lead that they can follow if they have any more questions. When you reply quickly, it is more likely that people will remember your brand. Always keep notifications open so that you are reminded to take care of your social media. If possible, use automatic mailers to welcome the person to your account (most recommended when you have a shop on Facebook or Instagram). Many people connect their Facebook Messenger chats to their websites to bring more people on their social media. There are many social media applications and chatbots available if you want to try this option as well.
Spread the Word
Leave your social media hooks on various blogs and your website, if you have one. A website is a great channel for people to visit your presence on social media. Not only this, you can make use of Google ads to help you get more traffic on your website and consequently your social media. Professionals and experienced individuals can respond to queries on various platforms and leave their social media links there. If you have an offline presence as well, you should always add your social media links to your visiting cards, posters, brochures, or advertisements. If you attend a conference or a networking event, talk to people and add them on Facebook there and then. Word travels fast and if you follow the first step, people are likely to come to your page and stick around.
Offer Discounts, Hold Contests
There is no better way to sell your products than offering money-saving deals and discounts. When it comes to social media, quality and quantity both work hand in hand. With a little compromise in your margins, you can get more people on your handles which will benefit you in the long run.
If your social media is not product-based or is not intended for earning money, you can hold contests and give gifts to winners. This will increase traction with your current audience as well as rope in a few more new faces. You can also educate new people about whatever you are promoting on your social media. Contests are a great way to talk to people and get to know what they think about you and your brand.
For example check out this giveaway organized by Cheryl McColgan on her blog.
Post Frequently and at the Right Times
Posting the right amount of content without spamming news feeds of your audience is a task that takes time to get right. Each product or each industry operates differently. There is no right answer to how much you should post every day. Your account should not look cluttered and on the contrary, it should not look like you’re inactive. Send out relevant updates about your page to your followers and give out genuine information that will engage the audience. Do not do it just for the sake of reaching out to more people.
Quality of posts with the right frequency is an important parameter. To add to this, timing of posts also matters. Research on who your audience is and at what time the majority logs in. People tend to use social media more on weekends and in the evenings, for instance. Post at times which guarantee the most reach and impressions. Frequency, quality, and timing are all very crucial points that decide how many people get to see a post.
Spend Money if Possible But Do Not Waste
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram guarantee a certain amount of reach for your posts if you inject funds into it. Boosted posts perform better than their counterparts. However, this can also have an adverse effect. In fact, if the quality of your post is bad and more people see it due to the money you spent on it, it might send out a bad signal. The target audience should be recognized and reached out via boosted posts. For example, if you are selling cosmetics, it would notmake little sense to promote it amongst men or children. Knowing your audience is paramount which brings us to the next point.
Know Your Audience
This works two ways; when you start from scratch, your posts and the kind of content you promote decides the kind of people who follow your page. With time, similar individuals join this community and form a large group of like-minded people. Knowing your audience and the way they think as well as the kind of content that they expect is key. If you are planning to get an overhaul of your social media handle, it might be risky. People might not like the new content. These decisions require research as well as very well-thought of strategies.
Use Social Media Tools
As you scale up, managing multiple platforms becomes a hassle especially if you do not have a team of digital marketers. Use social media tools to help you manage and ease up the tasks for yourself. Social media tools help you design content quickly and easily. You can schedule posts and view their performance all on one platform without having to visit each social media website/app separately. These tools also help you write content in a way that it is more readable to the general public. You can get to see the popular trending hashtags and design content and infographics according to the standards.
Use Stories, Polls, Surveys, Animated Videos and Quizzes
Platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook allow you to post stories. Stories stay on your account for a day and disappear after that. Stories are an amazing way to promote updates about your account. They also help you avoid cluttering up your account. Instagram and Facebook stories also allow you to post videos, polls and quizzes with them. These keep your audience engaged and you receive valuable information from them.
There is no exact way to decide what will help you succeed on social media. It is a long-term process that demands research and hardwork. With time and experience, things do start to look up. All parameters work hand in hand to build a successful social media channel. It is like a sophisticated dish; all ingredients need to be used in the right amount and put in at the right time. External variables also affect your social media performance. Once you get the right concoction though, the results are worth it.